Flash Floods Force Airport Closure and Halt Bus Services in Parts of Southern Israel

After unusually heavy rainfall causing flash floods, police cautioned tourists to stay away from the Judean Desert, Dead Sea and Arava regions while some bus routes were halted until further notice

A flood in the Arava Desert in Israel's south, October 20, 2018.
Alex Levac

Heavy rainfall, unusual for so early in the fall, fell in southern Israel Saturday, resulting in flash floods that made part of the main road to Eilat impassable and forcing the closure of the city’s airport.

Highway 90 between Grofit and Paran was closed to traffic.

Route 40 in the Tzihor region was also closed in both directions in the wake of massive flooding.

Police cautioned the public against anticipated flash floods in the upper Jordan Valley that runs through the West Bank, as well.

Tourists were urged to stay away from the Judean Desert, Dead Sea and Arava regions.

The Egged bus company redirected some intercity bus routes in the south and announced it was halting all service out of Be’er Sheva “until the roads are safer.”

A spokesman for the Israel Ports Authority said flights to and from Eilat were grounded due to a cloudburst that created enormous puddles on the runway.

On Sunday the weather is expected to turn to partly cloudy with a slight rise in temperatures. There may be some rain in the north and the coastal region through the afternoon.